More short entries about recent news worth looking at.
More Political Corruption
A recent New York Times article mentions that a former governor of Illinois, Republican George Ryan, has been convicted of all charges in a federal corruption case. The administrations of several Illinois Democrats, including Governor Rod Blagojevich and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley are also under investigation.
ISP Snooping Gains Support
A recent news.com article discusses how forcing Internet Service Providers to spy on their customers is gaining support at the state and federal levels. Some top Bush administration officials endorsed the concept, especially in cases of child pornography. The Colorado State Senate already has bill pending.
W Steals His Music
The RIAA has accused W of having stolen music on his iPod according to this BoingBoing article. Of course, the RIAA has a warped idea of what is allowed under “fair use” and what is not. The RIAA believes that “ripping CDs” is illegal—although it is not.
Postal Security Measures Failing
A Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article describes how Fred Hill of Aliquippa was able to use postal change-of-address forms to commit identity theft. Hill is being charged with wire fraud. Postal Service spokeswoman Patricia Licata said, “We have systems in place to prevent this type of occurrence,” she said, but declined further comment on Hill’s case pending the outcome of the investigation.
Zoning Laws Gone Amuck
A Cincinnati Enquirer article describes how a family was prevented from putting up a tasteful cedar fence due to the local zoning laws. They have since put up a fence made from toilets and toilet brushes, which is allowed by the same zoning laws.
Police Accused of Stalking
According to this New York Times article, a Suffolk County police officer, Michael Valentine, has been indicted on 197 counts of stalking, unauthorized use of a computer and other charges. It is rather disturbing when the people who are responsible for protecting the public are the predators.
School Principals Gone Bad
Two recent stories involve school principals trying to prevent their students from participating in immigration reform protests. One California high school principal greased the school fence to try and prevent students from attending protests. Another principal put her high school into “nuclear lockdown” and forced the students to use buckets, instead of allowing them to use the restrooms.
The UN has some interesting statistics in this report. It is well worth taking a look at. One statistic that is interesting is that the United States has one of the highest per-capita number of prisoners, with only Belarus and Kazakhstan having more in this UN report. Apparently, the War on Drugs is putting a lot of people in prison, but doing little to really deter crime.
FCC and Censorship
The television networks have finally decided that the FCC has gone far enough. This International Herald Tribune article describes how the networks are fighting back. FCC censorship is pretty pathetic. They seem to believe that an exposed breast is somehow damaging to the public—that nudity is far worse than the senseless and gratuitous violence show on many television shows and movies.
Isn’t the violence and mayhem seen in today’s movies and television shows far more damaging to the public. The human body is not seen as pornographic in most European countries, and nudity is fairly common—yet the rate of violent sex-based crimes is far lower in those countries, when compared to the United States as seen in the UN report.